Illinois Bend School

Illinois Bend School (HM1MTP)

Location: Saint Jo, TX 76265 Montague County
Country: United States of America
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N 33° 52.804', W 97° 29.171'

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Inscription
Located in the bend of the Red River in northeast Montague County, Illinois Bend received an official title in 1877. By the 1890's, Illinois Bend was a thriving community where cotton farming swelled the population. Many churches and schools were conducted in private homes prior to 1845 when the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas set aside provisions to aid local lodges in erecting educational buildings. In January 1893, a Masonic building for fraternal, educational and spiritual purposes was erected here. During the week, the lower level was used as a one room school and a church on Sundays. The original name of the school district was Valley Branch School District No. 14 due to the location near the branch which feeds into the Red River. Over time, it became known as Illinois Bend School District No. 14.

All age levels were taught in the same room and the first teacher was W.O. Edwards. There was no electricity or plumbing i the school until 1945 so outhouses were erected behind the building. The lower portion of the building was also the social center of the community, hosting reunion, wedding receptions and other group activities. With the onset of WWII, the school closed in 1944. Church services in the lower level ceased in the 1920s with the establishment of local churches. In 1968, the building was no longer used on a regular basis; however, an Illinois Bend Community Homecoming was held each fall and continues today. The building was refurbished by the Illinois Bend Community Club in 1987 and is a remnant of the community partnerships formed with the help of the Masonic Lodge.

Marker is property of the State of Texas (2014)
Details
HM NumberHM1MTP
Tags
Marker Number17952
Year Placed2014
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, August 13th, 2015 at 9:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14S E 640000 N 3749889
Decimal Degrees33.88006667, -97.48618333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 33° 52.804', W 97° 29.171'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds33° 52' 48.24" N, 97° 29' 10.26" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)940
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Farm-to-Market 677, Saint Jo TX 76265, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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